Arsenic Removal From Source Water
Mitch Matthews, Regional Sales Manager for Severn Trent Services’ water purification business, discusses the ongoing need for arsenic removal and Severn Trent’s chlorine-based disinfection options.
The following is an excerpt from a Q&A with Water Online Radio. Click on the Radio Player above to hear the full interview.
Water Online Radio: Severn Trent is well-known for arsenic removal. What changes to removing arsenic have you seen over the years?
Mitch: Arsenic came under the microscope in about 2005 - 2006, when regulations tightened. Arsenic is certainly an element that we want to remove from the water source.
Back in the early days, the large municipalities that had issues with arsenic had the financing to put a technology in place to address the arsenic. Most of those large municipalities have been handled. They have the technology in place to remove arsenic on a daily basis.
We're still seeing arsenic out here in the market, and it's predominantly being seen in the smaller well sites and municipalities across the country. That's actually going to be the next challenge because the arsenic limits are not going to be relaxed any, and the smaller users are going to have to investigate ways to finance paying for that technology.
When the arsenic issue popped up in 2006, there were about ten or twelve players that had a solution. Now it's down to about three players, and Severn Trent is one of those remaining players in the market.
Water Online Radio: We don't talk about arsenic as often as you might expect. I'm curious to know why Severn Trent is a leader in that.
Mitch: We try to look for something that's really going to make an impact and a change globally, and arsenic removal is one of those technologies that we've invested a lot of time and research in.
It's making a huge impact around the globe. You really only think about things in your little part of the world, but Severn Trent's flying at the 30,000-foot level, and we're looking at parts of the world where people are just happy to have water. We're trying to make that water that they do have better.
Water Online Radio: You're saying globally, the arsenic problem is worse, than in the US?
Mitch: No, it's not worse. It's just a technology we're taking globally. Arsenic is stronger in different parts of the United States, for instance. Arsenic is really a predominant issue out in the Southwest, where you have a lot of well sites and the substructure underneath the ground lends itself to the arsenic leeching out, more so than it does on the east coast.
Water Online Radio: Talk about some of the work that Severn Trent is doing in chlorine-based disinfections.
Mitch: Severn Trent has what we call the old reliable. It's the capital control gas feed equipment. It's been around for fifty years. We also have on-site electric chlorination generation. We have a technology that would fit the demands or the requirements of any size plant or municipality. We cover all avenues for chlorine and SO2 handling.
We do it in a very safe manner, and focus on finding the chlorine-based technology best suited for your needs. Some municipalities prefer to use chlorine gas, and some would like to look at a different technology, like on-site generation. We cover the gamut of them to suit their individual needs.
Water Online Radio: How do I choose which chlorine-based technology is best for my application?
Mitch: Well, both technologies, either chlorine gas or the way we administer chlorine gas through our on-site electric chlorination system, are inherently safe…
Click on the Radio Player above to hear the full interview.